Author Archives: Ingrid Tieken

Merriam Webster’s lexicographers

The Merriam Webster Dictionary of English Usage (1989) is unusual among the usage guides I have seen in that the work isn’t by a single author, such as Fowler’s Modern English Usage (1926) or Kingley Amis’s The King’s English (1997). The work … Continue reading

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Begging the question?!

During the past few weeks, two readers of this blog commented on Jasper Spierenburg’s use of the expression “begging the question“. As far as I know, there is nothing wrong with it, so why the comments? To check my (non-native … Continue reading

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Usage guides and the Book Club Associates

Yesterday, I wrote a post about my discovery of Harry Blamires’s usage guide, called The Cassell Guide to Common Errors in English (1998). The publisher is mentioned as BCA, which as I now know, thanks to Tim Waller, stands for Book Club … Continue reading

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Who is Harry Blamires?

There, I’ve done it again: I found another usage guide at our local (Dutch!) charity shop Het Warenhuis. How did the book end up in the Netherlands? There is no ownership inscription unfortunately, so we won’t know who the former … Continue reading

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Bennett’s Wordfinder

This is an index to the second edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage, based on the version revised by Sir Ernest Gowers (1965). Paul Bennett has written elsewhere on this blog, about Fowler’s humour. Why need an index to a work that … Continue reading

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The New Usage Guide … Television!

All the students in my MA course Testing Prescriptivism had to write two blogposts. So here is Jasper Spierenburg’s second one: With statistics showing that the average American watches over five hours of television a day, it is hard for … Continue reading

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When Literally means Literally…

Jasper Spierenburg is another of my MA students working on prescriptivism. Here is his first blogpost: Literally is an adverb that leaves a lot of listeners in an absolute state of disbelief. Paralyzed and shell-shocked they try to recover from … Continue reading

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